Obama Faces Possibility of Decisive Defeat 

This presidential election is coming down to two immutable facts that have become increasingly clear as November draws closer: President Obama will be running for a second term under a stagnant economy, and his two most significant legislative accomplishments—health care reform and a job-goosing stimulus—remain deeply unpopular. It doesn’t take a professional pundit to recognize that’s a very tough ticket for reelection.

But there is a glaring disconnect between the conventional wisdom, which still maintains that Obama has a slight edge in the electoral-map math, and the fundamentals pointing to the possibility of a decisive defeat for the president.

The three most recent national polls—Democracy Corps (D), Gallup/USA Today, and thePolitico/George Washington University Battleground Poll—underscore how tough a reelection campaign Obama faces and why it’s fair to call him an underdog at this point. He’s stuck at 47 percent against Mitt Romney in all three surveys, with the small slice of undecided voters tilting against the president. His job approval ranges from 45 percent (Democracy Corps) to 48 percent (Battleground). Those numbers are hardly devastating, but given today’s polarized electorate, they’re not encouraging

Obama’s scores on the economy are worsening, even as voters still have mixed feelings on who’s to blame. In the Battleground survey, nearly as many voters now blame Obama for the state of the economy (39 percent) as those who don’t think it’s his fault (40 percent). In both the Battleground and Democracy Corps polls, 33 percent said the country is on the right track, with 59 percent saying it’s on the wrong track—numbers awfully similar to the state of play right before the 2010 Republican landslide. These are several leading indicators that suggest the trajectory could well get worse for the president as the election nears.

Read More Here: http://nationaljournal.com/columns/against-the-grain/obama-the-underdog-20120508

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